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Quack Open Your Hearts at Duck Fest

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DUCK FEST is supporting our fellow blog bud, and my BBFF Daffy. She is setting up the JD Scholarship Fund in honor of her sister, Wendy. JD is Daffy's 5 year old nephew who just lost his mother suddenly, last week. Every parent strives to give the best to their child and as a single father, sending JD to college will be difficult.

I spent almost nine years as a single parent, and I know how difficult it can be to be both mom and dad to your child(ren).  You want to give them everything and try so hard to make sure that they don't want for anything to compensate for the loss of the other parent.  DUCK FEST will one day give JD and his dad hope. That the generosity of strangers helped get him to college, and a community banded together for him and his family during a very difficult time.

DUCK FEST will begin on June 3rd. This day will be very difficult for Daffy and her family as it would have been Wendy's 36th birthday.

Donating to a good cause has never been more fun! Come back June 3rd and check out all the participating bloggers and their giveaways that will be listed!

What is DUCK FEST?

DUCK FEST is a blog party fundraising event to raise money for the JD Scholarship Fund. It runs June 3 - 8 right here in the blogosphere!

How does DUCK FEST work?

By using the McLinky at the bottom of this page, you are able to visit a number of giveaways to raise money for the JD Scholarship Fund. If you find a giveaway you'd like to enter, beginning June 3, you can click on the donate button on that giveaway and donate money for entries. Each entry is $1.00. If you donate $10.00 you have 10 entries to spend however you want. Please follow the PayPal directions for your donation (be sure to leave your blog url in notes for verification!) To enter, leave a comment for each $1.00 donation on the giveaways of your choice!
On June 9, each hosting blog will select their winners using

How can I participate?

Do you have a skill or talent you'd like to showcase? Do you rub elbows with PR firms, have advertisers or sponsors that would support the cause? You are more than welcome to host a giveaway at your blog! Do you have product you'd like to donate, but don't have an outlet to run a giveaway? We're happy to host it for you! If you'd like to participate, send an email to me - That One Mom at OR to Tamara at

What if I would just like to donate money and not worry about prizes?

That is perfectly fine! Just click on the donate button in the side bar. All donations go directly to the JD Scholarship Fund!

In the meantime, grab a button and spread the word!! Word of mouth is key to making DUCK FEST a success!

Share a Spoon: Warm and Ducky

Think Tank Momma

Welcome Smackers!  It's our 5th Installment of Share a Spoon.
This week's theme?  COMFORT FOOD
What makes you feel all warm and Ducky?

Since this week's theme is Comfort Food in honor of my BBFF, The Great Duckalicious, I asked her what is comfort food to you?  She talked a lot about cherry pie.  Ultimately though she said pot roast and mashed potatoes with gravy.  Mmmmm.............doesn't that sound fabulous?
So I thought I would share my crockpot roast techniques.   I know all the fancy shmancy chefs on television say you need to brown the roast on all sides before you put it in the crock or let it cook low and slow in the oven, but that is a crock. (I quack myself up!)  I have done it both ways, and I prefer mine.

Pick out your favorite cut of roast.  For pot roast I prefer chuck roast or round roast, but anything will work.  Rub the meat down with olive oil.  Generously salt and pepper.  Do not be afraid of the salt.  I use kosher salt and basically lightly crust the entire roast with it.  Next sprinkle the entire surface of the roast with a light coating of chili powder.  Chili wha?  You heard me...CHILI POWDER.  It adds great flavor and you will love it!

Cut 2 large onions in quarters and add to the crock pot.  Place the roast in the crock.  Add 4-5 chopped carrots, a box of beef stock, 2 garlic cloves cracked open and a couple of cups of water.  Cook on the low heat setting for 6-8 hours.  This is a really easy throw it all in the pot the night before, stick in the fridge and turn it on before you leave for work meal.

When the roast is done, remove it with tongs and cover with aluminum foil while you make mashed potatoes and gravy.  Remove all the carrots, onions and garlic as well.

Gravy is NOT difficult.  I promise.  In a sauce pan on the stove top, over medium heat, melt half a stick of butter and add a half a cup of flour.  With a whisk cook the flour until it browns slightly.  Takes about 2 minutes.  Add the juice from the crock pot a little at time while whisking vigorously.  NOTE:  Gravy will not thicken until it boils.  Make sure you whisk until it boils and then turn down to simmer.  Voila!  Perfect no lumps yummy gravy.  You may need to add just a little salt.

When I make mashed potatoes I always have to make a boatload of them.  My boys are meat and potato freaks.  I usually cook 3-5 pounds of potatoes.  Peel yukon gold(they make the best) potatoes, quarter them and add them to the pot.  Cover with cold water.  Add a handful of kosher salt.  Boil for 20 minutes.  Drain and add back to the pot.

While the potatoes are boiling, in a sauce pan melt a stick of butter and about a cup of half and half or heavy whipping cream.  Over medium low heat.  Add to the pot once potatoes have been drained.  Mash the potatoes then whip with a hand mixer for light and fluffy mashed potatoes.

Now, I know that's butter and heavy cream, but we are talking about comfort food after all.  Really though, as long as you eat a moderate portion, and have light meals through the rest of the day, you can have a comfort food meal here and there, without packing on the poundage.
So, it's your turn.  Share your favorite comfort foods with The Duck and link up!

Wordless WTF? Wednesday

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In honor or The Duck, who has to bury her sister today.

Phallic much?

Looks like showers?

Um...just ewwww!

 The Star Wars WTF?'s always amuse me.

And the always fun


 Yes let's teach the kiddies that cannibalism is cool shall we?  WTF?


Don't forget tomorrow is Share a Spoon Thursday.  Comfort Food is the theme.  I will be announcing something special.

Think Tank Momma

You say stranger, I say friend....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friendship isn't a big thing, it's a million little things.
~Author Unknown 

Over the past several weeks I have had many conversations about what constitutes a "real" friend.

Many people think the relationships forged online are not real.  How could you be that close to someone you have never "met"?

I really don't think the mystery is all that elusive.   When you blog, you bear your soul so to speak.  You feel comfortable in your space and you share your life, your inner most thoughts, your inner most fears, the things that make you angry, the things that make you sad, and all the things that bring you joy.

How many of your face to face friends do you share all of that with?  My guess is slim to none.  There are always reasons that we tend to withhold parts of ourselves with face to face friends.  Susie might overreact, so we curtail the conversation to avoid her tantrum.  Julie may be too sensitive because her husband cheated so we don't talk about that around her.  Meg might take it wrong if I say I spanked my child because she was abused as a child.  Tess always blows things out of proportion because she is a drama queen.  You get the idea.

We know all these things about our F2F friends so we hold back bits and pieces of ourselves.  When we "meet" people online, they meet us without all those pretenses.  They read our about our daily lives and decide to become invested in them by reading everyday.  Those who aren't invested don't come back day after day for more.  But those who do visit daily "know" us. 

They know our humor.  They know our snark.  They know what makes us angry and what makes us sad.  They know our failures and our triumphs, regardless of how trivial or momentous.  I had a very good bloggy buddy tell me recently that she was much closer to her F2F friends who read her blog, for many of the reasons I have already mentioned.

So to me, it makes perfect sense that we feel so deeply for our own(other bloggers).  We know the good, the bad and the ugly, and we choose to care about them anyway.  That's usually what most people define as family.  You know everything about them and love them anyway.

So tell me Smackers.  How do you define "friend"?

Friends are relatives you make for yourself.  
~Eustache Deschamps

A Minute for a Monkey and a Duck

Monday, May 24, 2010

Good Morning Smackers.  Today's post is a bit of random.  It's the Monkey Minute.  It's the Ducky Minute.  And a heartfelt THANK YOU.

First, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your kind words words last week for The Duck and for me.  Your kindness was overwhelming.  It was a tough week to say the least and I appreciate your encouragement.  I received so many emails, chats, comments, tweets, etc.  I will be responding to all of them this week.  Please forgive my slow response time.  The only responses last week were updates for Ducky and keeping all of her friends updated and informed.

Now, for my MONKEY UPDATE.  Week ONE challenge.  I am down 5.7 pounds!  I consider this a personal victory given the stress of the week I had!  I have to say, The 30 Day Shred will practically kill you, but it definitely works!  I know that I have several sponsors and I will be getting back to you individually this week!  Thank you sooooo much for your support!  You are never more fulfilled than when in service to others.  My heart is full of joy knowing that we are helping that precious little face.  Some have asked how and when to donate.  If you want to donate a flat amount to support me on my Monkey Challenge just click her cute face on my sidebar, it's a paypal that goes to the Pixie Family. (Please let me know that you donated and the amount so I can keep up with amounts.  My Challenge with Travis is based on who raises the most for Monkey!!  I hate to lose remember???)  If you are donating per pound you can do so in one lump sum on June 30th when we complete the challenge, but the same will apply, all donations go via the paypal.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.  I didn't get back to most of you last week due to Ducky's tragic turn of events and I really really appreciate you sponsoring me.

Now, on to The Ducky Minute *snort*

1.)  Do I snort?
Um...when I have laughter fits and cannot stop, yes I snort.  Which only causes even more laughter.  Jillian has nothing on ab workouts compared to that kind of laughing.  Just sayin'.  There have been times when my stomach muscles hurt for days when I have laughed that hard.

2.)  Do I have a nickname like my friend Daffy?
I am the one who always bestows nicknames on others.  However, I seem to have picked up several in Blogland.  Zgirl, Tank, MamaB, TNT.  
Also, my daddy calls me Jo.  Which is short for BrandeeJo.  Which is not my name.  It's just Brandee.  However, he wanted to name me Brandee Josephine, after my grandfather, to which my mother said...NO.  So he called me BrandeeJo for the longest time anyway, and finally just shortened it to Jo.

3.)  Do I know sign language?
I know the alphabet in sign and a few simple words.  And of course, just like all the other languages I half ass know, I know all the dirty words.

4.)  A sampling of Convos from my hood?

My "hood" is more redneck hell than "hood".    This is typical convo overheard at the local minute market.

Guy driving Bubba Truck: (to tube top, cut off shorts, flip flop wearing chic with him) Grab a case of Bud.

Tube Top Chic:  I ain't carryin' the bear(beer) you comin' carry(said car-e as opposed to care-e) it iffin you want some t'nite.

Bubba Truck Driver:  Woman you ain't good for a g'damn thing.  What did you even come down here for iffin you wasn't gonna help me?

Tube Top Chic:  I came to make sure you wasn't flirting with them girls  behind the counter.

Bubba:  Go get in the truck bitch.

TubeTop:  Eff you.

Sad I know, but I live in BFE.

5.) Do I sleep with electronic devices? (i.e. laptop, phone, etc.)
I don't sleep.  But when I do, the crackberry is always with me.  Laptop is usually beside me too.

Share a Spoon: Comfort Food

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Think Tank Momma

Happy Weekend Smackers!


This Thursday's theme is in honor of The Duck, which is not to say we are cooking The Duck.  Rather, we are making comfort food because Lord knows it's been a rough week for my BF and her family. 

So share your favorite comfort foods with us this week.  What do you make when you want something warm and homey?  Do you have a special go to meal you share with others in times of grief?  Anything special you prepare for your family when times are tough?

If so, link up and share some comfort in honor of my favorite fowl, The Duck! (Actually my favorite fowl is chicken but don't tell Duckalicious.  Shhh....she's a sensitive bird.)

The Duck Tank

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tears are the silent language of grief.

As Daffy is a sign language interpreter, I thought the quote was appropriate.  We can all speak sign with my Ducky today.  My tank is brackish tonight from all the tears.  Not good for a pretty fantailed goldfish I tell ya!  We prefer ammonia to salt.

Many friends come and go in our lives.  We meet some that only share a moment.  We meet others who stay awhile and then move on.  We have others still, that are part of our lives from childhood forward.  Then we meet the few who touch our lives so deeply whether it is for a moment, an hour, a day, or a lifetime our lives are forever changed for knowing them.

When we are fortuitous enough to meet those few, we are better for it.  They bring out the best in us.  We bring out the best in them.

Having best gal pals is something that most women need to feel whole.  Everyone knows that girlfriends are the best.  There are many of us though who do not fit that bill.  We are different.  Intimidating to other women.  Fit in better with the boys.  Considered "just one of the guys", well at least to other girls.  (Note:  guys never really consider us just one of them.  Boobies ya know.)  

Anytatas, my BB chat group has blessed me with those best gal pal relationships that all of us never really had before.  A close knit group of women who share everything.  Sorrow, joy, tears, laughter, happiness and pain. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't talk and laugh and share our lives.  We are like a Virtual Sex in Many Cities, Real Housewives of Blogland Reality Show via Crackberry.  (Yes, it's as neurotic as you are envisioning, and then some.  But it's ours so shutyerpieholes.)

You all know that I am a movie quote freak.  Super Freak actually.  This is one of my favorites:

A fish may love a bird, but where would they live?
~Danielle De Barbarac (Drew Barrymore)

My heart is heavy, and I cannot express how deep my empathy for The Duck, her family and loved ones runs.  Please continue to pray for comfort and strength for them as they grieve the loss of a daughter, mother, sister, wife and friend.

There are two bodies — the rudimental and the complete ; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly. What we call "death," is but the painful metamorphosis. Our present incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design
"Mesmeric Revelation" 
 ~Edgar Allen Poe

Share a Spoon: Grill It Up!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pray for my DUCK and her FAMILY!  They need strength and comfort. 

Think Tank Momma

Share A Spoon

This week's theme is brought to you compliments of my baby sister Buffee over at The Truth According to Buffee.  We have always enjoyed getting together on the holidays are having cookouts.  So, in honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, we would love for you all to share your grill favorites, or sides that accompany those wonderful grilled tasty treats!

I always make baked beans and some sort of salad when we have cookouts for holidays.  I have a macaroni salad that is everyone's favorite that I will share this morning.  I had planned to share my baked beans and potato salad but I have had a rough week with Daffy and have not had time to focus.  Sorry about the lack of pictures.  

You will need the following:

1 Box Medium Shells macaroni (pasta)
1 jar Roasted Red peppers
1/4 medium red onion chopped very finely
1 cup of bacon bits
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sweet salad cubes (you can substitute sweet relish)
1 1/2 cups of light mayo
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (don't use that stuff in the green can, splurge on some fresh grated it makes a huge difference)

What to do:

Cook shells according to the directions on the box.  Rinse and cool.  Drain the roasted red peppers and chop.  Once you have chopped them squeeze all the excess juice from the peppers so they are as dry as you can get them.  (Use a clean dish towel or cheesecloth.  You can also use paper towels. Same process as drying spinach for spinach dip.)  In a large bowl mix the pasta, red peppers, bacon, onions, sweet salad cubes.  Add the shredded sharp cheddar and mix well.  In a small bowl mix the mayo and parmesan.  Add to the pasta mixture and makes sure all the salad is well dressed.  Chill and serve.  This salad won't need salt.  Make sure to salt the pasta water before you boil.  the parmesan is salty enough to season the salad.

Also for those of you concerned about the mayo and an outdoor cookout.  Commercial mayonnaise has a high enough vinegar content that spoiling isn't any issue.

This salad is amazing, I promise.  Hope you enjoy!  Happy grilling folks.

Zgirl Soprano calling ALL BLOGFIA MEMBERS

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

By now, many of you have heard that my BFF Daffy is having a family crisis.  

We are here to lift her up and give her strength.  I want every single follower of mine to go over there right now and leave her love.

Ducky's sister is 35.  She is ONLY 35 years old.  Yet, she is on an operating table fighting for her life right this minute.  She has a little boy that is only 5 year old.  A husband who loves her dearly.  Parents holding their breath in the ICU waiting room.  And a sister who we all love and adore.

Many of you have read her updates, some may not have.  You can find Daff's update from this morning here.  Things have taken a turn for the worse.  There is brain swelling and to alleviate that part of her skull must be removed to allow the brain room to swell.  This is not a small procedure people.  Additionally, the tumor that they suspect started all of this must be removed.  The medical team wanted to wait until she recovered from the blot clot this morning, but that isn't possible now.  This family has at least 20 hours of surgery ahead of them.  A team of doctor's that has been working most of the day already to stabilize her.

Please, pray for Ducky's family.  Pray for her surgical staff.  Pray for the surgeon who will be working his miracle.  Pray for a miracle.  If you don't pray then send love and good karma or whatever you believe in.

*Comments are off*  Leave your love for Duckalicious at her pond.  (all highlighted links will get you to the pond!)

Daff will probably post a bit later this evening to update everyone.  If she is not up to it, please check back.  I will add all updates here and via twitter.  If you are following me on Twitter shame on you!  @adrienzgirl


Just spoke to the Duck.  Sister's surgery is going really well.  Tumor is already removed.  Only expecting a few more hours of surgery.  Prayers are working!  Keep them coming!! 


Surgery is complete.  EVERYTHING went much smoother than anticipated.  The tumor was removed successfully.  The second smaller tumor was not seen when the surgeon open her skull.  They have installed a shunt/valve for drainage.  She is still having some clotting, may have to go back on the IV blood thinners.  Keep those prayers coming!  The power of prayer is incredible! 

***SAD NEWS***

Late last night I spoke to The Duck.  We received grim news.  There is no neurological activity and Wendy is on a ventilator.  PLEASE PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND COMFORT for this family in their dark hours.  Lord, please hold this family and help shoulder their grief. 

The Uncontainable Fabulousness

Having a house full of boys is a full time job and a half.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is a BIG FAT LIAR saint, and I aspire to be more like them.  The things that boys find funny are often GROSS DISGUSTING AND WRONG not funny if you are a girl have any breeding whatsoever.

That said, they do provide me hours and hours of GREATBLOGMATERIAL   fun and enjoyment.  As most of you know, the two that live with me all the time are ADD and ADHD.  Koop is ADD, Kamden is ADHD.  There is a huge difference.  Kooper is easily distracted, while Kamden is the distraction.  Kamden literally could not sit still if his life depended on it.

Kamden is what we refer to as Chatty Cathy.  I swear that child talks more than a little girl.  He does not. stop. talking. ever.  He talks when he is alone.  He talks in the shower.  He sings all the time.  He drives us all to drink up the proverbial wall.

The following is a conversation between me and Kooper, in reference to the chatterbox also known as Kamalamadingdong.

Koop:  *huff* *sigh* *beating on the keyboard at the computer like he was going to kill it*
Me:  Would you knock it off?
NOTE: Kamden is sitting as his computer singing LOUDLY in a dulcet tone Taylor Swift for the umpteenth time that hour.
Koop:  I am trying to play my game.
Me:  Sounds to me like you are trying to kill your keyboard.  I am not buying another one if you beat that one to death.
Kamden is still singing.
Koop:  Will you PLEASE  make him shut up?
Me:  He isn't hurting you is he?
Koop:  Um...Mom.  We share a room.  He sleeps in my room.  He doesn't stop talking ever.  Do you know he even talks in his sleep?  In. His. SLEEP!  Now, really, are you going to ask me if he is hurting me?
Me: *fighting back tears of laughter*  to Kamden could you please sing in your head? to Kooper Happy now?
Kamden: Taylor Swift is way too fabulous to keep in my head.  I need to share her with the world.
Kooper: *blink* *blink* looks at me
Me: *blink* *blink* look at Koop
Kamden gets up from his computer, cocks his head and looks at the two of us and says, Me and Taylor Swift are taking our fabulousness in my room.  And with that he turned on his heel and left.
Kooper:  under his breath Girl!
At that point Kooper and I busted out laughing.  A great mom would have corrected that last comment, but I let it slide.  Kooper had endured enough for one afternoon.

Never a dull moment Smackers.  Never.

Think Tank MommaDon't forget tomorrow is Share a Spoon.  Grill time favorites and sides for Memorial Day!

Link up and share with us won't you!?!

Taking It Off for Monkey

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Do you see that pretty button?  Guess what it means?  I, Zgirl, am challenging Travis over at I Like to Fish to a weight loss challenge.  BUT, here is the deal, I NEED YOUR HELP.

We are going to go head to head.  And everyone knows that men lose faster than women.  Which means, I HAVE TO BUST MY FATASS GLUTEUS MAXIMUS to win.  My Smackers know I HATE TO LOSE.  So I know that you are going to support me right?

Here is the details of said challenge.  We go head to head, starting TODAY.  The challenge ends June 30th.  Why June 30th Zgirl?  We are doing this challenge for Monkey.  WHO IS MONKEY?

PhotobucketMeet Monkey.  See that precious little face?  She stole my heart.  She beautiful.  She perfect.  She's 16 months old.  She has cancer.  Did your heart just skip a beat?  Mine did.  Did your stomach turn over?  Mine did.  Did you feel that sting in your eyes as you fought back tears?  Plenty of those have flowed from mine.  Having a baby in the house makes this all the more real for me.  Every time I see that precious little face I can't help but see my own little princess.  I don't know if it's because we have been calling Khylee Monkey Princess since she came home or just those big brown eyes, or what...but this baby wieghs heavy on my heart every day. 

So, Travis and I are going to get our readers to sponsor our weight loss challenge to raise money for Monkey.  Any amount is fine.  A penny, a dime, a dollar per pound lost.  (Kind of like when we used to get people to sponsor jump rope for heart when we were kids.)  I cannot lose this though, so I need your help.  Travis will lose more weight than me for sure.  MEN SUCK.  Just sayin'.  So I have to work harder, work smarter, and need your pledges!

Just look at that sweet face.  ALL of the money Travis and I raise goes to MONKEY.  The Mission Monkey on my sidebar just below the Take it off for Monkey button is linked directly to a paypal for The Pixie Family.  This family is going to need all the support we can give them.

I want to help Monkey.  AND I WANT TO WIN.  Help Monkey won't you?  PLEASE!   

As an added incentive, and since this is a weight loss challenge, whoever pledges the most to support me gets a BRAND NEW healthy cookbook from Williams-Sonoma compliments of Think Tank Momma.  (Told ya'll, I HATE TO LOSE!)

Every Monday I will post my weight losses and what I did to get that loss.  


SaS Theme: Grill It Up

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Think Tank Momma

Happy Saturday Smackers!
Happy Weekend my lovelies! This week's theme is from my sister.  Buffee over at The Truth According to Buffee asked for a Memorial Day theme for this week.  So Thursday, please link your grilling favorites.  You can share grill tips, marinades, sides.  Oh how we love those sides that go with burgers, dogs, BBQ chicken, ahh......I am salivating like Pavlov's bitch already!
I'll be sharing a couple of favorites myself!  The best baked beans recipe ever, and my red potato salad.  Please share your grill favorites won't you?

Let me know if you have a theme you would like.  You get two link spots when you pick the recipe share!  One on Saturday announcing the theme, and then again on Thursday when we all visit to scoop up those yummy recipes!

I'd love to hear from those of you that have tried recipes we have all shared.  I was thrilled to receive a quick recipe in the comments from Drollgirl for a quick pizza sauce or dip.  I tried it on pizza dough that I picked up from the deli at our local super market.  It was fantastic!  Loved it.  The recipe is below. 
drollgirl said...nom nom nom!!! i am going to print this out!!! i don't normally make my own pasta sauce, but i sure could.

one thing i like to make is super easy and really good as pizza sauce or dipping sauce: put 1 large can roma tomatoes and 1 large jar of roasted red peppers in blender. add a little brown sugar and a little olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. blend on high. it is scrumptious and easy! and it is so good as pizza sauce!
Alright Smackers that's it.  I am off to enjoy my Birthday weekend!  Catch ya on Monday!

Share a Spoon: Let's Have Lunch

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Think Tank Momma

Welcome Smackers!

Let's Share a Spoon and Warm some Bellies with great food!

Today we are talking lunch Smackers. Thanks to Alicia from It Ain't Easy Being Cheesy for today's theme.  It's often difficult to know what to do for children for lunch during the summer months.  It's easy to throw a couple of bags of chicken nuggets in the freezer.  Keep a package or two of hot dogs in the refrigerator or that old staple mac n' cheese, you know, out of that blue box.  YUCK!  I won't eat that stuff.  So why then would I feed it to my kids?  Most of it is because, well, it's easy, and because that's what we ate when we were little.

Really though, it's easy to do something else.  Kids do like variety, believe it or not.  My little Kamden would eat Peanut Butter and Jelly everyday if I made it, but when I give him something else he loves it.  There are two resources that I found to help with trading in the old standards for something more adventurous.   And by adventurous I mean healthy!

First is the Kraft Foods site.  They have all sorts of recipes for lunch and other meals.  Ways to decorate that make the food, well, FUN.  I mean really how cute is that bagel?  Kids love this sort of thing.  At least mine do.

The next resource is a blog. Amanda over at Lunchtime Limbo post the prettiest lunches.  She is a frugal mom trying to go organic, according to her site.  But the lunches she packs are truly delightful and inspiring.  I encourage those moms looking for some healthy fun eating to check out Lunchtime Limbo.  Just look at what I mean.  Flower sandwiches?  Aren't they cute?  I would totally eat those and I am a grown up!

My lunch recipe for today is my chicken salad.  I don't have photos of it this week.  (Slacker!)  If you have picky eaters they may look at it and say "I don't like it."  Mine said that.  I make them at least try everything though.  Once they tried it, they loved it!

2-3 chicken breast baked and diced (I often use a large Rotisserie chicken for this.  I just use the white meat and save the legs for a lunch later in the week.)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup dried cranberries
1 shallot minced finely
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 c. lowfat mayo
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. season salt
1 tsp. paprika
I sprinkle the whole thing with celery seeds as well.

In a large bowl, add the diced chicken.  Mix in the shallot, celery, cranberries and nuts.  Stir all the base ingredients well.  Add the spices and coat all the salad.  Add mustard and mayo and stir until incorporated.  If the salad looks a little dry just add a bit more mayonnaise.  Sprinkle the salad with celery seeds.  I serve this on croissants or potato dinner rolls.  It pairs nicely with a fresh fruit salad.

This recipe is a big hit at bridal and baby showers.  I often serve it on crackers for those events.
Well there you have it Smackers!  My lunchtime share.  Please share your favorites with us!  Just grab the code and come back and link up!

If you need recipes, have a special occasion, meal, or just need some new takes on chicken let me know.  We will theme a week for you.  Leave it in the comments or email me!
As always, LOVE!

Apparently I am easily replaced

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When Kooper was little one time, as is the norm, I was the butt of one of his and BDC's jokes.  They were having fun at my expense.  Talking about ways to get rid of me and the like.  I remember telling my son who was about three at the time that he would miss me, if for no other reason than I am the sole cook in the family.  He piped up and said "It's o.k., we'll just get a Robot Mommy."

At first I was crushed that my baby was not more attached to me.  It's been a running joke so long now that I just blow it off when they threaten to off me to replace me with a robot mommy.  But, lately the boys have all been way into my cooking.  They have a few house favorites that I don't think they are willing to live without.

So the other night I am making one of Kooper's favorite dishes.  He asks me all sweet and innocent like if I will write the recipe down for him.  He has his own cookbook.  He spent a year going to Young Chefs Academy.  He enjoyed it, and it was a great way for us to get a kid who normally won't eat anything that isn't meat or potatoes, to at least try other things.  He did at least try everything they made.  So I told him I would write the recipe down at some point for him.

He says, "O.K., but Mom, we are really going to need those recipes to upload to our Robot Mommy if something happens to you.  So could you do it sooner than later?"

I turn to give him a dirty look and he is bent over doubled laughing at me.

Don't you wish you were loved as much as me? 

Don't forget to link up tomorrow!  What's for lunch?  Share your lunch recipes!

Think Tank Momma

No vacancy...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Sunday,  I spent the entire day on the couch with BDC.  Occasionally we shared it with dogs, or kids.  It was an enjoyable Mother's Day.  We watched movies.  A LOT of them.  I don't know if it's just me or what, but there are not that many good movies to watch.

We watched The Lovely Bones.  It was terrible.  We watched Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn.  It was mediocre.  We watched Did you Hear about the Morgans?  I love Hugh Grant, but it was just o.k.  We watched Up in the Air, with George Clooney, and while I love George, it was um.....boring.  I can't believe it was nominated for all those awards.  WHY?  The Princess and the Frog was probably the highlight of the day and we watched that one first.  It was for sure classic Disney.  Last I watched 2012.  BDC fell asleep, and it was just meh...

None of us ever sit and watch movies all day like that, nobody in this house can sit still long enough, but since everyone has had the crud, we all enjoyed a day of downtime no matter how bad the movies were.

What the hell is with the cold and flu season this year?  We have had every single thing that has past through this season.  Seriously, it has been terrible.  And I for one am damn tired of being sick.  I am putting a sign on the door that clearly states NO VACANCY!  So whatever flu, allergy, cold, sniffle, sneeze, snot, puke, diarrhea, fever, ache, whatever that comes by next will know that we have had all we can stand here.  Move right along.  You are not welcome.

So if anyone needs me....I will be fumigating.  Spraying down every single nook and cranny of my house with Lysol.  I may run down to the local warehouse club and pick up a vat of antibacterial gel, also known as OCD juice according to Kamden, and slather it all over everything just as an added precaution.  

Last, all the bathrooms are getting a new soap dispenser!  Have you seen the new No-Touch Hand Soap System by Lysol?  No more little boy grimy filthy nasty hands all over my soap dispensers?  WIN!  This is so cool.  I have been wanting touchless soap dispensers forever.  I know that I will have to keep batteries around for it to work properly, but I am o.k. with that.  At this point, I will go to any lengths to keep my brood healthy!


Share a Spoon: What's for lunch

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Think Tank Momma

Welcome Smackers!

I am going to start posting the themes for each Thursday's edition of Share a Spoon on Saturday.  That way if you want to take pictures for linking up you will know before hand.  This week's theme is a request from Alicia aka QuesoBonito of It Ain't Easy Being Cheesy.  She requested some recipes and ideas for lunches.  Summer is coming up and kids tire quickly of the mac n' cheese, chicken nuggets or hot dogs.  Plus, I would prefer you not feed your kiddos that processed garbage anyway.  I know that's tough.  Especially with picky eaters.  But, baby steps folks!  
So link up with me this week won't you?  Share your lunch time favorites!
If you have a theme you would like to see let me know.  You can leave it in the comments or email me
What's your recipe box/book missing? 

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!

Share a Spoon: Cinco de Mayo Style

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Think Tank Momma

Share a Spoon Warm the Heart
Cinco de Mayo Tribute

 Making Mexican food is so much fun.  It's all fresh ingredients, which I love.  I made guacamole and easy quesadillas yesterday, and everyone was thrilled.
Here's what you will need:
2-3 Avocados
1 garlic clove
1/4 small red onion minced 
1 jalepeno
2 limes
1 small tomato
kosher salt
1 tsp fresh chopped cilantro
Cut avocados in half and remove pits.  In a large bowl, scoop entire flesh of the avocados into the bowl whole.  Use a spoon and just go around the hard shell of the avocado.  Squeeze the juice of two limes over the avocados.  Add a little salt.  Seed the tomato by squeezing out all the juice and then chop and add to the bowl.  Seed the jalepeno and chop.  Add to the bowl. Mince the red onion and add.  Grate the garlic and add chopped cilantro.  Now take two forks and mash everything together.  I like a chunky guacamole so I don't take it too far.  If you like yours creamier, you can certainly pulse it in the food processor. (pictured to left)

 My daughter likes fresh salsa so we threw two tomatos, a clove of garlic, 1/4 red onion, fresh jalepeno and a bit of cilantro in the food processor and pulsed a bit. (pictured to right)

For the quesadillas you will need:
Soft taco sized flour tortillas
olive oil
Cooked Chicken breast chopped (I used a Rotissery chicken I picked up at the deli)
shredded cheeses (I used a shredded blend and I shredded pepper/jack as well)

In a non-stick skillet or on  a griddle heat to medium/low.  Brush one side of the tortilla with olive oil.  Place the oiled side onto the skillet or griddle.  Add cheese to half of the tortilla.  Top the cheese with chicken and salsa.  Then top with the other cheese.  Flip the side without toppings over.  Please reference pictures.

Brown nicely on both sides.  Make sure to adjust your heat lower if the outside browns too quickly.  You want the cheese to melt nice and gooey.  
I serve these with sour cream, salsa and guacamole as pictured to the right.

So there you have it.  Quick quesadillas, homemade guacamole and I even threw in a quick salsa too.  Happy eating Smackers!
Join me in Sharing a Spoon this week won't you?  Link below!

My Play Pretend Imaginary Grown Up Friends

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Many people say that blog friends are not real friends.  I beg to differ.  I have met some of the kindest, most generous people of my life through blogging.  My life is better for it.  The have brought a sense of community, comfort and support that I didn't have otherwise.

When I was asked to join a Blackberry chat group last fall with some of them, I jumped at the chance to be more connected.  I really had no idea how much joy that would bring to my everyday life.  I believe that all things happen for a reason, and that people come into our lives when we need them most.  Conversely, we are placed in others paths when they need us.

I leaned on my BB chat friends when we received the news we were getting a surprise gift from the stork.  If you are new and don't know that story, you can read it here.  These friends supported me.  They loved me.  They helped me prepare in two short weeks for the arrival of our new bundle of joy.

It's high time I thanked them proper for all their love and support.  They basically threw me a baby shower, bloggy style.  Along with a few others who are not in the BB chat group.

Look at how lucky I am:

The great Duckalicious sent me a Ducky Blanket that she made!  I will treasure it always!  Daffy is a true and kind friend with a great big heart!  She sent me a gift card as well to help with diapers and such.  Love you Duck!

This is a huge box of clothes that my Cheesy buddy QuesoBonito from it ain't easy being cheesy sent me.  Her little precious Presley sent Khylee so many cute things.  Khylee is the best dressed little monkey princess ever!  We love and appreciate Alicia and Presley sharing their super cute styles with us!

See the K under the Princess crown?  It is all embellished with Rhinestones.  Whoa-Mummy sent this bling to us all the way from Australia!  She is such a doll!  I love her and miss her desperately when she is away from the blogosphere.  Thank you Alex, you know how much I love things that sparkle!

This was hand painted and made with love by That One Mom from the Only Parent Chronicles.  It's hard to see because of the flash, but it has all her birth stats.  Time.  Weight.  Length.  Date.  It's very pretty and girly, and we LOVE it!  I can't wait for her to come and visit.  Yes, that's right.  My real life friend that I met through blogging is coming to meet the baby!

Look at those tu-tus!  Aren't they cute?  I received a box full of couture baby diggs from Lee, formerly the Hot Flash Queen.  Today you can find her writing serious wine reviews at Roadtrips for Wine.  There were so many cute things in this box, I played with all of them for hours!

This basket arrived unexpectedly from the one and only Tracie over at Stir Fry Awesomeness!  Isn't it darling?   Everything matched.  Outfit, socks, is just darling!  Thanks Trac!  Love ya!

I also received a very generous gift card from June over a 3! A Charm!  I cannot even begin to tell you how much all of this means to me!

Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your love and generosity with my family.  We love and appreciate all you have done and continue to do for us!

Thanks to my baby sister for throwing me a baby shower at home too!  Love you Buff!

Tomorrow is Share a Spoon!  In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we are Mexican themed this week.  But feel free to share any of your recipes!  I will be sharing homemade guacamole that is to die for and easy quesadillas!